An industrial group and an education council have joined with financial firm JPMorgan Chase & Co. to create a new website that helps students and adults tap into petrochemical career opportunities in the Houston area and beyond.
The website is named PetrochemWorks.com. It's designed to help users land good-paying careers in the industry, which website officials said is thriving during a downturn in the energy sector. The site includes interest-based career maps, educational resources and listings of open jobs to help users understand the prospects the industry offers, along with the skills and educational requirements they'll need to get there.
“Houston's petrochemical industry is hiring talented skilled workers,” said Roy Watson, workforce development superintendent for plastics materials maker Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. of The Woodlands, Texas. Watson also is chairman of the Workforce Development Committee for the Houston-based East Harris County Manufacturers Association (EHCMA).
“This site is designed to help users discover the promise of this prosperous industry,” he added. “It's an exciting time for the industry, and this site will empower workers to take charge of their future.”
The platform was created through a partnership between JPMorgan Chase, EHCMA and the Chicago-based Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL). Chase invested $500,000 to develop the interactive career exploration resource.
The grant is part of the firm's $5 million commitment in Houston to support local, innovative programs that address the skills gap between unfilled jobs that pay a good wage and workers who are unemployed or underemployed.
“We know that people are much more likely to reach their career goals when they have a clear line-of-sight to their path forward,” said Carolyn Watson, head of philanthropy for Chase in Houston. “We also know that currently there is a mismatch between employer needs and the skills of current job seekers. PetrochemWorks is a one-stop-shop to tackle this challenge head on.”
Chase is the largest bank in Houston, with 217 branches and about 7,000 local employees. The firm serves more than 1 million local customers, many of the top corporations and leading institutions across the city.
More than 150 petrochemical subject matter experts and dedicated project stakeholders from companies such as CP Chemical, Shell, LyondellBasell, ExxonMobil and Dow Chemical contributed to the focus and content of the site.
PetrochemWorks.com is accessible across all platforms including smart phones and tablets. The site features information about 60 common industry positions, a matching tool to empower future workers to find careers tailored to their skills and interests, and career maps showing growth trajectories and career transitions.
CAEL Associate Vice President Shawn Hulsizer described PetrochemWorks.com as “a revolutionary tool that can serve as a national model to help articulate and socialize career pathways to build and strengthen our nation's workforce.
“It's another resource to support our citizens by helping them to link their learning and education to enriching careers in viable industries,” he added.